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Despite some signs of muddle and uncertainty (Ulu Grosbard replaced Dustin Hoffman as director during the shooting), this is a surprisingly strong picture about a convict (Hoffman) on parole in LA learning what the supposedly “normal” world is all about. Based on Edward Bunker's novel No Beast So Fierce and adapted by several hands, this gains one's respect largely through its secondary cast—Theresa Russell, Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton, M. Emmet Walsh, and Rita Taggart—although Hoffman has his moments as well (1978).

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